I proceeded to Dehli via Jaipur – a city where I would have liked to spend more time. I made up my mind to visit the treasures of the ‘Pink City’ at a later date though.
TRAIN-RIDE FROM DELHI TO BOMBAY
Recorded by Lichtfaktor
At the Old Delhi Railway Station, a 'Tourist-hunter' tried to obtain a ticket for me! Once in a while they will be successful with their ‘hunt’, since not everyone has the patience to wait in an endless seeming line! And when you finally reach the counter, you get a smiling face and the information that there is no reservation-possible for the next 2 days. Immeditate tickets were available at Baroda House, the headquarters of the Northern Railways - some 4 to 5 kilometers away. Nowadays everything is much easier. In all big towns there are tourist centers where ticket reservations can be made upon showing a receipt from a bank for having exchanged a foreign currency. Back at the station I used my waiting time for a meal of rice with Alu Gobi - potatoes with cauliflower. India is a paradise for vegetarians. All great restaurants are strictly separated between vegetarians and non-vegetarians. No wonder, when you consider that more or less half of the population does not eat meat. For the long trip I bought an "India Times".
There was a huge crowd during the boarding and disembarkation. Large loads were passed through the windows and some people even climbed through them themselves. Fortunately I had caught a single window seat, and after I had stowed my luggage, I ate a Choley Bhature (beans with a little fried yeast bread) and drank a Chai on the platform. When I finally arrived to my seat, I saw that it was taken by a mentally handicapped boy. It took the boy’s father some time to convince him to remove himself from my seat and to return to his own place on the bench.
As I was riding, I read an article about the ancient tribe of the Muria people, who lived in the forests of central India along the shores of the Indrawati River in the State of Madhya Pradesh. They are famous for their Ghotuls who according to legend were founded by the phallic deity 'Lingo Pen'. He was an extraordinary musician and taught the youngsters to play the drums. According to a Muria saying:
"One who can beat the drums knows how to beat a woman in love".
In the Ghotul, boys and girls from the age of six onwards live together without adults. They learn to overcome jealousy and to develop kindness, compassion and common sense. Love unifies the members of the tribe and keeps them in good mood without the slightest tinge of possessiveness. Here, there is complete sexual liberty until marriage. If a boy sleeps with a girl more than three times in succession, they have to leave this sacred place and are married.
There is a lot of singing and dancing. Most of the dances are sexually provocative. And after it the boys and girls start pairing off. But the final decision regarding the pairing rests with the leaders. They make sure that also the physically not so attractive get an equal chance. It is "a Kingdom of the unmarried", says one of the Muria folk songs. Paradisiacal conditions in which I gladly would have lost my innocence too.
India's manifold landscapes moved past me... impatiently waiting farmers with their ox wagons were at the train crossings, dangerously loaded bicycles and of course the so called “public carriers”, lorries driven mostly by Sikhs. Close to me sat a chanting Brahman and a handicapped flute player tried to earn some meagre paisas with his tunes. The poor man moved on his knees and his sad melodies made me ponder for a while.
Bombay announced itself with it's endless slums along the railways - former swamps who were drained by the settlers on their own initiative but during monsoon regularly drown in the mud again. Some people had made their homes between the tracks of the suburban railwaystations, which wasn't allways the worst solution. At least it was dry there and therefore certainly not free of charge. I could look into their livingrooms. Children where fathered here and so were their children. How privileged I was after all! Still! At least as long as I would own a passport and some money. The poorest would probably have liked to change places with me.
A german prisoncell is more comfortable.
In Colaba I took a room at one of the numerous low-budget-hotels. The hotel was located near the 'Gateway of India', the monumental gate made from yellow basalt through which the passengers of the steamers from Europe put their first foot on the subcontinent, and in reality it was not less monumental and famous as the 'Taj Mahal Palace'. Probably nowhere else worldwide, does the world of the poorest touch the world of the immeasurably rich so closely as in the place between the Gate and the 'Taj Mahal Hotel'. On one street-side, are companies of beggars, bootblacks and ambulatory dealers, and on the other side, are the heavy coaches of the Indian multimillionaires, the Maharajas, the foreign diplomats and the Indian politicians that drive up.
I had the good fortune to obtain one of the sought after tickets for the 2nd class on the upper deck. The lower deck was rather overcrowded. Again I was amidst a wave of birds of a feather - and the wave found it's way along the coast up to Goa.
After the ferry had left the harbour I was astonished to see the Indians starting to drink like on command. And they drank a lot.
I learned that a Drinking Permit was needed to legally buy alcohol in Maharashtra with its capital of Bombay, as well as in some other states of India. This permit wasn't cheap and in Goa it wasn't needed. And shortly after embarkation the laws of the former portuguese colony were applied to. There was indian rum, whiskey, beer - but also port wine. After a few glasses of this sweet wine I had in mind again the fluteplaying of the cripple and the murias in their Ghotul. I rolled a small joint with my "Manikaran" which I smoked more or less unnoticed and with pleasure at the boat's rail.
In the movements of the water below I saw a reflection:
Video by Chris, Fu, Mimulux, Anjali, Adrian, Ruff and George
A gatekeeper protected an entrance from unwanted demons, and a beautiful dancer provided my admittance with her stamping feet and her welcoming gestures.
"Earth! Here here are my eyes - my gates to my soul
my dance is my prayer - forgive me my trampling”
she seemed to sing, and spoke about a bee who could not resist the tempting smell of the sweet nectar of the lotus.
And I saw my both sides:
my emotional and my rational - soft and hard -
weak and strong - female and male.
Should I resist the sweet temptation althought the mind is concerned or should I sacrifice rational comprehension to my feelings? Like I wasn't able to resist Joe althought foreboding that he was false and that I was going to let myself in for a dangerous adventure. And as I could not resist the temptation of the money. I would better have set off with my loved Teresa and her two children earlier. But the girls disturbed my love-luck and I was not ready for a family-life. But, I could have traveled with them together as a free and rich man!
I was torn between emotion and mind.
"Which mask shall I wear today"?
my question echoed into space.
My mediator played and flirted. She sacrificed flowers in order to get rid of obstacles on my way.
I travelled an endless road until finally the answer reached me:
"Think with your heart and feel with your mind!"
It was like an illumination.
And my herald danced, confirming it through my third eye!